You brighten my day..

Monday, July 30, 2012

A photo walk...

through some pretty lanes of Lohr am Main with Ms A.





Yes, she has a camera, though she ended up taking only 2 or 3 pictures and actually preferred hop scotching through the cobbled stones. Well me, it's a different story...:-)


Friday, July 27, 2012

Baby's day out(Part 2)

I wish there was a continuity in my posts, but I will save both myself and you my rant. Let's just say, I am fed up of waiting for the kids to get their summer holidays. Honestly, the academic year in Deutschland seems to drag, and the sudden surge in heat is not helping at all. Just a few days ago we were kind of shivering cause it felt like a mild winter instead of summer and now, all we want to do is take refuge in our cool cellars.
So back to today's post, part 2 of my beautiful day out at Würzburg. If you read part 1, you will know that I made the trip alone without family. My intention was to walk the vineyards of the Marienberg fortress. 
After reaching the top of the fortress, I was lost!! Yes, completely. Have you seen the boards which tell you "You are here" and give directions to go about a tourist spot. Well, I could figure out where was I, but for the life of me couldn't figure out how to get out of the huge walls and into the vineyards. After pondering for a while as to whether to give up and go back the way I came or head on over to the ticket counter and ask for directions, I chose the latter. Only that I wanted the directions in English. The poor guy fumbled and managed to give me a long set of lefts and rights and tunnels!!! No wonder I couldn't figure it out.

Once I reached the entrance, all I wanted to do was a little jig. The arched rugged stone entry with the breath taking views, took me a long time to recover.

Then on, it was a slow steady walk of 40 minutes downhill(photography, pausing and sighing with happiness and short breaks on the benches provided are not taken into account). I witnessed men at work in the vineyards. The fruit looked like it needed more time to grow. Maybe the harvest is in autumn? Just wondering.

The descent provided breathtaking views over the city wit the brightly coloured roof tops, church steeples and blue skies.

If you looked upwards, you could see the fortress looking beautiful as ever.







I didn't keep track of how long I took to walk through the green vines. I was in no rush. I wanted to take in the sights slowly without a soul around to disturb me. Occasionally there was a tourist panting and climbing uphill, one asked me how far was the entrance. There's no fun walking uphill with all the beauty behind you. 
Now if I tell you that on reaching the foothills of the vineyards, I was treated to a heavy downpour, would you believe me?? :D

P.S: The Lohrer Beer festival begins today. Do not forget to drop by my facebook page where I will be posting all the action.











Monday, July 23, 2012

Sun+Flowers

Some things in life bring me so much happiness, especially when they are in the form of a surprise. Like this sea of sunflowers. The two and a half years of having lived here and gone on countless drives through the countryside, never have we encountered such an expanse of yellow(other than rapeseed fields). While we were on our way on Saturday to a gathering of expats from hubby's workplace, out of the blue we were greeted by these fields. There was no way to stop and take in this surprise.
(Sunflower fields overlooking the village of Remlingen)

SO, the following day, we bundled up protesting kids into the car who just could not understand why on earth did we want to drive all the way up to a patch of sunflowers. Once we got there, it was a different story. The kids then understood what we meant. It was not a sunflower here and there, but an actual large field. We didn't even know if it was allowed to park and look at the flowers, cause there wasn't a soul around.

The children were taken by surprise on seeing the height of the plants. They were very tall. It was amusing to see the flowers all pointing in one direction.

While a few of them were on their way to getting withered, we spotted a few in between, beautiful as ever. And when the sun shone through, the petals were an amazing yellow.

We spent quite some time walking, making the kids pose and take pictures, feeling the sun and searching for plants shorter than us. This patch was sure a great find!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yesterday, Ms A had a play date at her friend's place. It meant an entire day free, for me. I chose to give an intense cleaning, throw in the old, bring in the new kind of thing to my kitchen. Half way through I was wondering why did I ever begin.
The last time I gave a tour of my kitchen was exactly two years ago. I was in for a little surprise when I saw the pics myself. We have come along way. The drawers are now overfull, a lot of new gadgets have found a kitchen home and I am practically short of space...ahem!!!

I shifted all the utensils to the dining room, made the counter tops free and scrubbity scrub I went!!
Truth be told, German kitchens are not meant for Indian cooking. We use the cook top morning, noon and night, season our food with oil, shallow fry, deep fry in oil, oil, oil....... and the countertop I have, heaven knows what is it made of. Not a day goes by without remembering my good old shiny black granite counter in India. So easy to clean, it always looked new.

And the love of white or light colors the people over here have, cabinets, door, windows.... alles weiß(all is white)!!!! It means you have to constantly be on the scrub. Otherwise the Indian grime is hard to remove..:D My new found friend, the multi fettloser(multi fat loser) always comes to my rescue.

Once I was done I went about making a few changes here and there. Change is good...:-)
The dark green bottle on top is a Bocksbeutel, a type of wine bottle used for wines in the region we live, Franconia. I put my favorite indoor plant in it, what we call the money plant.

This beauty was bought during our trip to Italy last year.

The gadgets that have found a way into my kitchen in the past two years. We do not prepare coffee in the machine, but still use it. Any idea for what?


See, I told you I was hard crunched for space. Thank goodness for Ikea where you can find cheap furniture..

And finally when all done!!
I wonder what will my next kitchen look like...just wondering.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Snow White....


and the seven dwarves.
A wordless Sunday, sort of..:-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Baby's day out(Part 1).


Only that the baby was me...:-)
Yesterday, Ms A had a school trip to attend to. With both the kids away the entire day I had 8 hours all to myself. What fun to leave the house and do something that you like? I have always wanted to walk through vineyards, without any interruption. So, narrowing down on the ones below the Festung Mairenberg in Würzburg, I took the train to this lovely town, which is only 45 minutes away.

Würzburg is a blend of both old and new, with modern shopping malls and cafes sandwiched between old churches and stucco buildings, it's a delight for both the young and old to simply walk through and take in the smells and sights.At the heart of the town, right beside the Marienkapelle(the red church) is the markt platz. With festivals happening round the clock, colorful stalls and food courts adorn this place all through the year. I have a favorite one which sells the best franconian bratwurst. After relishing one which was my lunch and wandering around the stalls, I proceeded to the Alte Mainbrücke(Old Main bridge).
One of the oldest and loveliest stone bridges in Germany, it has amazing views over the Main with the small ships docked to the side, the fortress right on top of the mountain with the sprawling vineyards below and the towers of St Kilian church on the other end. 12 larger than life statues of saints and emperors are placed on both the sides of the bridge. Above is St. Burkard, Würzburg's first bishop. There is always a flurry of activity on this bridge.....Guided tours with tourists, lovers holding hands and looking upward to the fortress, wine lovers sipping on that glass of wine(yes, they were standing on the bridge with their glasses), photo enthusiasts like me waiting for that moment of respite from the crowds to get the perfect shot and the elderly, seating themselves on the stone benches for that much awaited break.
Once you go over the bridge, there are clear signs guiding you to the fortress. The option in front of me were two paths - 20 minutes by stairs or 40 minutes through vineyards. Both uphill.
You can guess what I chose...:-)

As I climbed up steadily, the roof tops of Würzburg slowly came into sight. It was indeed breathtaking. I spent quite some time taking it all in, after all there was nobody along with me. 

The Marienberg fortress is a prominent landmark of Würzburg. It was the home of the prince bishops from 1201 until the 18th century. With two courtyards, towers, a church and gardens, you need quite some time to explore both inside and outside.
Having already done the tours of the above 2 years ago I could not wait to get into the vineyards. Only problem was I couldn't figure out how to get to them.....:D

to be continued...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I finally went out ALONE...
Yes, just me, my thoughts, myself.

and, I enjoyed it thoroughly..
so much so, that I want to do it, more often..:-)
I paused where I pleased,
clicked way too many pictures,
cause you see, there was nobody waiting for me or tagging alongside.

I knew where I wanted to go and what I wanted to see.
A walk through the vineyards. 
The arch up there, that was the entrance to them.
My heart almost skipped a beat when I saw it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Klein Venedig

While I thought I would squeeze in all the sights we saw in Bamberg into one post, I thought it would be a shame not to share pictures of the Little Venice(Klein Venedig). The entire day, sunshine and rain were playing a little game of hide and seek. So when we were by the banks of the river Regnitz to view the row of 19th century fishermen's houses, the blue skies popped out just for a while so that I could get these gorgeous shots..:D
It is not possible to walk through these row of 30 wooden houses. You have to be on the opposite side of the river bank to actually view this little delight. Each house has a tiny front yard filled with flowers, patio furniture and an occasional boat tied to the dock.
Notice the two young lads crooning on a guitar on this warm summer's day.
Do you know that there are vacation homes on the klein Venedig. I would have loved to live in one of them.
I spent time watching this lady garden. Did she mind? I wonder... Or she must be used to a bunch of tourists like me trying to catch a glimpse of normal life on the Vendig.


So, which was your favorite picture?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Farmer's market in Bamberg.

On Saturday, the family and I finally visited Bamberg. For hubby dear it was sheer nostalgia. While I come back tomorrow with some ramblings about our visit, I thought I would leave you all with pictures from the weekend farmer's market of Bamberg. It was huge, colorful and crowded!!










It was a wonderful combination of flowers, veggies, fruits, honey, liqueur, bread, meat and not to forget, PEOPLE...:D
I did end up buying some cherries from enthusiastic elderly ladies at a stall. By the time we were back home late in the night, they were squashed.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why I ♥ to window shop

One of the things I love to do is window shop..
When in any town or village, I make it a point to visit the marktplatz just to peek into shops and sometimes spend an awful lot of time admiring the treasures separated from me by that glass window, while my family patiently waits for me.
At times it is love at first sight and I walk just right in to buy what I like(if it's affordable)...:D
In Lohr, there is one such bylane(Obere Schlacthausgasse) which has a charming shop with all kinds of home decor you can think of. I always try to cut across this lane just to take a look at what is in store for me. They do up their windows according to seasons and I can spend hours looking at the nitty gritty details. 


Below is how it is when the store's open. 
Stunning, isn't it?

So tell me, do you love to window shop? Are you content with just looking through the windows or do you really go out there and splurge?